The letter to the editor from Louise Gardner was very much a surprise and a huge disappointment.
First, I have not asked the former mayor for an endorsement. In fact, I have not and will not ask any current or former elected official for a public endorsement.
Second, the picture was taken on Oct. 27 at the senior nutrition center located at the Capital Mall. I did ask permission; and it was granted. We enjoyed lunch and good conservation with the Gardners. In fact, Paul Gardner complimented me on my open letter pre-announcement which was published in the News Tribune on Oct. 5.
Third, pictures without quotes in my campaign literature are meant to feature me as an active community person. They are not meant to be public endorsements - real or implied. The fact that the Gardners were at the center the day we decided to take the camera was a pure coincidence.
I regret that politics pressure has turned a pleasant visit into a source of ill will.